New gallery at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre reveals secrets behind Tudor scrap

By Culture24 Staff | 15 April 2010
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A photo of a field with trees showing a stone memorial in a path in the middle

(Above) The site, never before suggested as the battlefield, straddles the Roman road known as the Fenn Lane, near Fenn lane farm. Photo © Bill Sibley,

Two months after the exact location of the bloody 15th century battle which killed King Richard III was officially identified, a new gallery at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre will divulge how experts pinpointed the fatal field alongside a deadly display of weapons and ammunition.

Historians had spent decades debating the true location where Henry Tudor and King Richard clashed on August 22 1485, but a groundbreaking metal detecting survey named the previously unsuspected Fenn Lane field as the definitive spot.

The gallery will feature a range of revealing relics unearthed during the investigation, giving away the royal status of their former owners.

A close-up photo of an ancient stone badge in the shape of a boar

This boar badge was the emblem of Plantagenet ruler Richard III

"Several of the objects are amazing," said team leader Dr Glenn Ford, of the Battlefields Trust and the University of Leeds.

"The most important by far is the silver-gilt boar, which was Richard III's own badge, given in large numbers to his supporters. This one is special, because it is silver-gilt.

"It was almost certainly worn by a knight in King Richard's own retinue who rode with the King to his death in his last desperate cavalry charge. It was found right next to the site of a small medieval marsh – and the King was killed when his horse became stuck in a mire.

A close-up photo of an artefact of a belt buckle against a green background

A belt buckle found at the site

"Other objects discovered include silver coins of Charles the Bold of Burgundy, a silver-gilt badge found close to where we believe the Duke of Norfolk was killed, and the largest collection of round shot ever found on a medieval battlefield in Europe."

A Battle Room demonstrating the gruesome horrors of Medieval warfare and a Science Laboratory inviting visitors to test their archaeological skills take centre stage at the new gallery, as well as areas on Preparing for Battle, The Tudors, The Surgeon and The Road to Bosworth. An outdoor trail is also planned.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and Leicestershire County Council provided most of the funding for the scheme.

A photo of a field at sunset with a flag in the foreground

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre opened in 1974

"This project demonstrates again what can be achieved for heritage, tourism and the economy by HLF working with a County Council which cares about Leicestershire's past," said HLF East Midlands committee Chair Christopher Pennell, who predicted the discoveries would "transform the story" of the "pivotal battle in the nation's history."

"Bosworth and its Battlefield will be transformed into a top quality heritage attraction where thousands of visitors will enjoy what can be learnt from our past through groundbreaking investigations."

Uncredited photos © Leicestershire County Council

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